Staff Information

Kaia Tollefson, Ph.D.
Project Vista Director

Kaia is the Project Vista Director. She has 28 years of experience in education and 12+ years in higher education. She has had experience teaching in Alaska, New Mexico and California. Kaia is the author of nine monographs/reports and two books.


Wendy Olson, M.P.P.A
GSC Activity Director & Project Vista Coordinator

Wendy has been a staff member at CI since June 2002 and has over 18 years working in educational environments. Wendy believes that this is an exciting time to work on Project Vista, and having the opportunity to open up our new Graduate Studies Center through this grant is fantastic. GSC will serve a variety of students, from undergraduate through credential and graduate levels. Wendy loves working with staff, students and the community to provide support and collaborate whenever possible.


Sara Alcalá, M.S.
GSC Counselor and Coordinator

Sara has been working at CI since 2005 and has 10+ years of experience working in schools, from elementary through university levels. She will provide information and support to CI’s future and current postbac students. Sara is also in charge of assisting with GSC events and coordination of daily operations. She looks forward to meeting with CI students and helping them achieve their goals!


Jennifer Lugo 
Administrative Support Assistant

Jennifer has been with the Graduate Studies Center and Project Vista since 2011, working as a student assistant.  She will be receiving her B.A. in Spanish in May 2015. Jennifer's future plans are to join the Teaching Credential program at CI. During her free time, Jennifer enjoys playing fetch with her dog, going to Six Flags Magic Mountain and binge watching shows on Netflix. 


Student Assistants

Rosa Alvarez
Project Vista & GSC Student Assistant

Rosa is a Junior at CI, majoring in Psychology. Rosa picked CI because it is a small campus away from her usual big city life. Her hobbies include reading, blogging, and solving word puzzles.

Ciara Blackwell
Project Vista & GSC Student Assistant

Ciara is a third year student, currently majoring in Psychology. She chose CI because of the small class sizes and CI’s beautiful campus. Her interests include: reading, writing, dancing, and trips to Disneyland.

Amanda Balades
Project Vista & GSC Graduate Student Assistant 

Amanda is a first year MA Education Disability Studies student. She chose CI because she loved what a small and close knit campus it is. Studying at CI also allows her to stay close to her family. On her spare time, Amanda enjoys going to the beach and spending time with her family. 

Gabriela Magaña
Project Vista & GSC Student Assistant

Gabriela is currently finishing up her first year in the nursing program at CI and will be graduating in May 2017. She chose CI because it is a local campus to her home and she had heard great things about the nursing program. upon graduation, Gaby's goals include attending graduate school to become a family nurse practitioner and be able to provide health-care services at an affordable cost to low-income populations. Two of Gaby's hobbies are bike riding and taking walks on the beaches located along PCH. 

Meet our GSC CI Service Representatives:

Kristin Carpenter
Financial Aid Counselor

(805) 437-2089

Contact Kristin for:
Financial Aid, Scholarships

Brianne Keighley
Admissions, Records, & Advising Specialist


Current CI Graduate students can contact Brianne for:
Advising, Your schedule of classes (Roadmap), Change of Major/Objective, Academic Leave, Graduation

Melissa Whitacre
CI Program Representative

(805) 312-6367

Contact Melissa for:
Graduate/Master's degree programs at CI in Camarillo and Thousand Oaks, Information Session Schedule, or Organizing an Education Fair at your company